UK PM’s former aide accuses Johnson of lying to Parliament about ‘Partygate’ — Analysis
Cummings would ‘swear under oath’ BoJo knew drinks event was held in violation of Covid-19 rules
UK PM Boris Johnson not only knew a garden party held by his staff was a violation of his own government’s Covid-19 rules – he lied to Parliament about it, according to his former aide, Dominic Cummings.
A ‘socially distanced drinks’ event held in the garden of 10 Downing Street while England was under strict lockdown was planned by Johnson’s personal private secretary, despite protests by at least two people familiar with the country’s Covid-19 rules, Cummings wrote in a tweet and blog post on Monday. Johnson’s ex-advisor suggested Johnson added insult to injury when he lied to Parliament about his knowledge of this party.
Naming himself as one of the two staffers who protested the lockdown-violating party taking place, Cummings claimed to have written in an email that the event was “It is against the law and shouldn’t happen.” While he did not personally attend the event, his retelling claims the party planner checked with Johnson to confirm the event should be held regardless of complaints from staff, and that Johnson not only gave the green light, but personally attended the party, which took place on May 20, 2020.
Cummings wrote on his Substack blog that he would “swear under oath” that Johnson knew the event was a drinks party, and that the prime minister had “The Parliament was lied to” when he apologized for attending the gathering, claiming he had thought it was a work event. Downing Street is also being accused of organizing several drinks events in the Covid lockdown. The office apologized to Queen Elizabeth last week for two events she hosted the night before her husband’s funeral.
“Even without considering the series of events that followed, the events of 20 mai alone prove the PM has lied about the parties to Parliament,” Cummings tweeted.
Downing Street was once again charged with violating lockdown rules, this time with a number of holiday parties. This triggered a government investigation. After it became clear that the inquiry’s leader was also aware that there was a holiday party that violated lockdown rules in his office, he was obliged to resign.
Cummings resigned in November 2020 as the senior advisor to the prime Minister, six months after his apparent violation of England’s lockdown regulations caused public outrage. He said he had driven with his family some 260 miles across the country to his parents’ estate that March, categorizing it as “essential travel.” Cummings also said the family’s day trip to a castle 30 miles from where they were staying had been undertaken to “Test his vision” prior to his return to London.